Arul Menezes is Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft and the founder of Microsoft Translator. He has grown it from a small research project in Microsoft Research into one of Microsoft’s most successful flagship AI services within the Azure Cognitive Services family, translating 90+ languages and dialects, used by hundreds of millions of consumers, and tens of thousands of developers and businesses worldwide. It is also embedded in Microsoft products such as Office, Bing, Windows, Skype.
Arul has 30+ years of deep experience in computer science, software development, and 20+ years in natural language processing and artificial intelligence.
In building Microsoft Translator, Arul followed the model of a startup embedded in Microsoft, owning Translation from basic research to technology productization, data acquisition, model training, web service and API (99.95% SLA), as well as consumer-facing mobile and PC applications.
Neural Machine translation is one of the most advanced and demanding of the current wave of AI technologies, regularly modelling terabytes of data. Arul's team recently announced several major breakthroughs.
In March 2018, the Translator team announced it had reached parity with professional human translators, a first for MT technology. This was demonstrated using a standard research community test set of Chinese news (translated into English) and all data and evaluation results were released to the research community.
In April 2018, the team announced neural offline-translation on Android and iOS with translation quality almost matching the Cloud. This is the first availability of neural MT models running locally on regular phones.
In May 2018, the team announced Custom Translator, enabling, for the first time in the industry, self-service customization of neural machine translation models to customer data and domains.
His team has also applied the same technology to a wide variety of AI tasks, including grammatical error correction, and natural language understanding.